Scenes from Childhood

It was during a visit to Maxen Castle in 1846 that Robert Schumann (1810 – 1856) had his head examined. He lived in fear of the streak of manic depression that had claimed the life of his elder sister through suicide. However this was no ordinary examination. It was performed by Robert Noel, the famous English…

The Carnival of the Animals

The attitude of the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw towards Saint-Saëns’ music was fairly typical for the time. He accused him of plagiarism, saying that if Bach, Meyerbeer and Gounod were taken out of the scores, all that would remain would be “nothing but graceful knick-knacks, barcarolles, serenades, ballets and the like”.